WFRP 4e The Enemy Within Campaign Book 1: Enemy in Shadows Session #08 My Face Painting Days Are Over.


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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
Letter to Princess Plum (Lothar's younger sister).

Lotho 1.1.jpg
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #02 The Eye of the Tiger.

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.

Looks Like: Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.

Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf, and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.

Looks Like: Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.

Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.

Looks Like: Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.

Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.

Looks Like: Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.

Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Here we go again.

There was a lot more laughter this session, tears of laughter once or twice- for which I, of course, apologised.

Also, this might be a long 'un, a lot went on. Apologies in advance.

Strap in.

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
THE COACH & HORSES INN, ON THE ROAD TO ALTDORF.


But before that let's start with a word about XP.

I read, I think, in the third book of this campaign that PCs at that point should have approx. 2,500 XP, it was something like that- maybe 2,300 (It could have been 3,500 XP- I can't seem to find the page again). Anyway, I made a spreadsheet and counted up how XP the players could/would (are likely to) get along the way according to books 1 & 2. I then factored in maybe 20 sessions to play through each book, and hey presto... that didn't work, when I added it up it seemed a successful PC could accumulate over 5,000 XP by the end of the second book. Or something similar, don't trust the numbers above but you get my point, there's far too much XP available to the little tykes.

This calculation was based on the GM awarding about 50 XP/PC per session- plus any additions from the book.

So, I cut the XP right down- I'm a bad lad.

And made a better guilt-free (for me) system for distributing XP in game.

And so...

At the end of every session the players vote on two things- Roleplay & Clever(ness), who (in the session) was the best at both of these things, that's two separate votes. Players cannot vote for themselves, and so it's 1 to 3, best to least best (worst) and the DM gives out 45/40/40/35 XP or something similar. That's the base XP for the session.

That's not two lots of 45/40/40/35, just one lot.

Although don't tell the players but after 10 or 12 session I'm probably going to halve this amount.

Shhh.

Our secret.

Then there's some static rewards, the only one of these the PCs have found so far is 1 XP for each rumour discovered, that's not 1 XP each- that's 1 XP for the rumour finder. Get all of the rumours in a section (15 in the first) and there's a bonus 1 XP for every PC!

Wowzer!

Then, some scenes- as indicated in the book, have XP attached to them, after the scene plays out I ask the players to vote- 1 to 3 as above, although just one vote this time.

So, in the first session the opening scene with the ghost of Johann Bauman, the PCs voted and...

Fred & Fergus 3 XP each, Lothar 4 XP and Olek FTW with 5 XP. I just figured 3-5 XP for this particular scene, for the stuff (XP listed) in the book I just halved most things and picked a range.

So, XP for the first session looked like this-


PC

The Ghost

Rumours

Session Award

Total
Fred (Jim)
3

0

40

43
Fergus (Bear)
3

1

35

39
Olek (George)
5

1

45

51
Lothar (Kev)
4

2

45

51


The best thing about it- I'm not to blame, they vote- I don't.

So, that's XP. I'll adjust it as I go on, in line with getting to book 3 with the XP total close to what's written there.

One last thing- because I'm doing some diary bits here in this Story Hour I offered the two PCs without Read/Write (Frederich & Olek) the Talent for just 50 XP. They both had enough to take it after the first session.

The other two PCs (Fergus & Lothar) have been offered a 50 XP Lore skill, whatever they choose- within reason, just to balance things out.

Fergus spent most of his XP on improving his Toughness, and also Consume Alcohol skill, he figures if he's going to drink, well... he's going to drink.

Lothar increased his Toughness and his Initiative by one apiece after the first session.

Last bit before we get on.

There are very few pictures in this Story Hour (& this session) because, it doesn't work (in this instance) how it does with D&D on FGU, there's no slow exploration/reveal of dungeons et al. Later in this session there's a chase sequence (because I wanted one early in the piece- this is a tutorial, right) but there are no pictures of it.

A bundle of description at the time, but after... when I was scolding the players for not taking any snaps (although, it's as much my responsibility to remind them) they said... and this just wont wash- “We were too excited.”

I ask you.

It got very funny towards the end of the chase.

More pictures next time- got that PLAYERS!

Here we go...

SCENE 4. That's Entertainment.

The bar of the Coach & Horses Inn, and Lothar has agreed to put together a package of entertainment for the evening, a show- if you like, this at the behest of Lady Isolde Von Strudelhof, who seems to be getting friendly with the Burner.

Oh, but 'Burner'. It's a common term that the folk in the Old World call Witch Hunters- “BURN HER!” = Burner. I decide early on in the piece to take a little sting out of the Witch Hunter's in the party, what with their being two of them. It wouldn't do to have the general populace just flee in terror, so I very quickly made the decision that Witch Hunters are a bit- resented, (secretly) laughed at, or else treated with something other than outright terror.

Gustav's third line was something like-

“If you don't mind me asking Lords, are both of you Burners?”

Anyway, Lothar is playing impresario, and so he quickly organises his troops- even Phillipe is drafted in to play (improvised) drums, and as we all know- every PC has the ability to Entertain.

Oh, but before we get here- Frederich takes Lothar aside, and has a little word- as dry as you can, angry, laconic and a little cod-Russian for the voice-

“This is... This is unworthy of Sigmar. It is, contemptible...”

To which Lothar replies something like-

“Oh, I don't know my friend, Sigmar is big on Community. How does it go Olek?”

At which point Olek chimes in about the commandments of Sigmar- one of which (I forget) is indeed about the forging of community, or some such.

Frederich is further advised to get the stick out of his arse.

Just to note Frederich thinks lots of things are 'unbefitting' men such as he (& Lothar) serving in Sigmar's holy army etc., and every time he does this Lothar just says something akin to the above, and Olek is always on hand to caution his brother.

Anyway, back to the entertainment.

However, Lothar has not accounted for Fergus McClean's particularly entertaining talent.

The dwarf sidles over to the bar and whispers his request to Gustav there, and then after a few coins change hands the gruff scout has honey and a collection of various powders- all different colours, fetched from the kitchen... Fergus is a Face-Painter.

Or so he says- he can paint two faces- a tiger (he saw one in a book about Ind), and a sort of angry bird.

And so...

Janna, Lady Isolde's maid, is persuaded to be a tiger.

While...

2.00 Olek & Lothat Kiss.png

Olek and Lothar go monochromatic.

The dwarf finally face paints himself as the angry bird-thing, although without using a mirror, and so something like -20 on his roll, which isn't very high to begin with.

Truth be told the dwarf doesn't have a great deal of success- Janna looks less like a tiger and more like someone whose face is on fire, Olek looks like a member of the Black & White Minstrel Show (blacked-up, not a troubadour style minstrel) and Fergus looks like he has been shot in the face.

So, a mixed bag.

Remarkably Lothar's paintwork is immaculate (rolled '01' on the check).

Then the show starts with Frederich telling a ghostly story- all atmosphere and dour-dark turn, it goes down remarkably well- several Ostlers and a bunch of other servants of the inn spontaneously assemble to enjoy the narrative.

Then...

Olek does another song, accompanied on drums by Phillipe.

Olek sings Eye of the Sigmar/Tiger.

Of course he does.

You know the words- join in-

Riding up, Valiant and Free,
Bold and Brave, Heldenhammer.
Built an empire, Had the World at his feet,
Just a man and his Will to Survive.

Suddenly, Happened so fast,
In the jungles of Lustria,
A great beast, So Evil and Dark,
Met our lord in a fight to Survive.

He took the EYE OF THE TIGER,
In his Great Mailed fist,
Deadly Wounded, his Terrible Rival,
Victory close at hand here,
Struggled on through the night,
But great Sigmar cannot be deniiiiiied,
His victory.​

You know the rest.

So, that's a hit- although the Bretonnian's drums are all over the place.

The song and story are of course accompanied by the face-painted duo being directed around the makeshift stage by Lothar, who also keeps pace with the narrative using his shadow-puppetry.

Yep, shadow-puppetry.

The overall effect is... well, it passed the time.

I think the overall result for all of the checks was -1 SL, which is a bit of a let down because Frederich's opening story was a real hit (+3 SL, and his skill ain't high).

Eventually Lady Isolde and her entourage head up to bed, but not before promising to see Lothar at 'breakfast on the morrow', Note, the student fellow that was reading his book at the bar headed to his room as soon as it started to get noisy.

No XP was give for this scene, because I am a bad man.

SCENE 5. I'm Just Going To Roll To See Who Gets Shot In The Face.

2.01 At the Table.png

Then, back around the table in the Inn. Gustav has also said goodnight- there's just Erpin behind the bar, the two coachmen- still drinking, and the PCs with their new found friend- Phillipe.

Stories are told, and more drink is consumed, and Phillipe is still buying- isn't he nice.

Several PCs are suspicious, but their Intuition checks are all bad rolls.

Huzzah!

Phillipe over the course of what passes next also tells the PCs another couple of rumours that he has heard on the road. The first about the Emperor's secret shame, his (possibly mutated) sister hidden away in the Great Hospice. Later he discusses the fate of the poor folk of Blutroch village, they all developed red blotches on their skin, and then less than a week later they all died from the same unknown but terrible wasting disease.

He's a bag of laughs the Bretonnian, but he knows how to tell a story, and how to keep an audience interested.

Note, Frederich is a little riled (as is Olek) about the Bretonnian slandering the Reikland's glorious Emperor. Apologies follow, Phillipe wishes to make amends, and eventually he asks the PCs to play a little cards with him. He wants to learn the game Scarlet Empress, will the PCs teach him- “it iz after all ze most pop-u-lar card game in ze Empire, or zo I am told.”

Olek, is not for games of chance, but encourages Frederich to play.

It starts well- Fergus wins the first hand and for a moment gets garrulous- it doesn't last.

Lothar wins the second hand.

Then the two drunken coachmen wander over and get themselves a place at the table, and suddenly every hand is a worth over one and a half shillings.

And so we play a few more hands- between more stories from the road, and Phillipe's rumours- as above, and other chat.

Until, the last hand.

At which point Lothar is absolutely certain that Phillipe is cheating, and this is the third or fourth hand the Bretonnian has won in a row.

Phillipe wins the last hand, which also has a good size pot.

Lothar grabs Phillipe- accuses him of cheating and tries to shake the aces from the Bretonnian's sleeve, alas there's enough pushback from Phillipe to prevent this.

Then everyone piles on employing a variety of skills (with mixed results) to, well... Phillipe tries to calm (and Charm) the situation, Frederich on the other hand is insistent (Intimidate) that Phillipe disrobe to prove he is not a cheating scumbag, while Olek (smart fellow) convinces the drunken coachmen (Leadership) that Phillipe has indeed been cheating.

The result- a lot of raised voices and an argument.

Fergus also isn't happy- “a bluddy CHEATER!”

Phillipe gets free of Lothar, at last (the DM sighs), quick draws his pistol and I deliver the line which serves as the title to this scene-

I'm Just Going To Roll To See Who Gets Shot In The Face.

That's the cliffhanger.

Time for a vote, best in scene, and the DM directs the players to concentrate their efforts on all of the action this evening (including in the last session, although that wasn't much) with Phillipe, from the moment that Fergus persuaded the Bretonnian to join the PCs to Lothar's accusations.

The vote is- Fred 4 XP, Fergus & Olek 5 XP each and Lothar 6 XP.

Note Olek and Lothar have also both gained a bonus 1 XP each for extracting the rumours above from Phillipe.

Then, time for a quick break- make 'em sweat.

SCENE 6. Run, Run, Runaway.

No-one's getting shot in the face, at least not this early in the game, I figured it would just concentrate minds, and leave the players wondering. Generally when a scene ends there's a break in play.

2.02 Who got shot.png

Phillipe draws his pistol and fires a round into the ceiling, engulfing all at the table in a hot ash and smoke, deafening a few and scaring the holy crap out of others.

But as it turns out only Olek and the two drunken coachmen succumb to the Intimidate check with added hand gun blast.

2.03 Big Picture.jpg

The rest of the PCs are swiftly in hot pursuit of the fleeing Phillipe, up the stairs and through the corridors of the inn, the destination for the chase- Phillipe's room, of course, and the window he has left open there for a quick exit.

I wanted to show the PCs how a chase works, and it's as easy as.

So, there's four or five turns of the chase, although it's only Lothar, Frederich and Fergus in pursuit of the Bretonnian. Lothar gets close enough to make a grab for Phillipe but the hustler manages to shake the Burner off, and then get a little ahead again.

Although the rumpus all comes to a halt when Gustav, dressed in his wee-willy-winky nightshirt, and armed with a blunderbuss comes up the stairs and starts shouting the odds.

Phillipe, Lothar and Frederich each make a heart-felt attempt to persuade the landlord about present events. Phillipe declares that the adventurers are trying to rob him, the PCs tell a different story, of course.

Gustav is convinced- the Bretonnian is a cheat.

Also the foul man shot Blackie, his pet crow.

Phillipe spots which way the wind is blowing and makes a break for cover, away from the blunderbuss wielding landlord.

KABOOM!

But as it turns out Gustav is not a great shot (-5 SL) and succeeds only in filling the open area at the top of the stairs with acrid burning smoke from the discharge, and peppering the ceiling with shot. The recoil also sends the fat man tumbling back down the stairs.

Phillipe uses the cover to dive into his room, grab his gear and commando roll out of the window and onto a narrow roof, then to drop down into the yard (he rolled '01', that's a great check).

Meantime Frederich has managed to get ahead of Lothar, he bundles into the first room that he can see- remember the place is choked with the acrid discharge from Gustav's shot. Alas the room in question is occupied by the unfashionable fellow from the bar, the student with the book, who is not at all pleased to see a Witch Hunter burst into his room.

Frederich however is semi-apologetic-

“As you were citizen, do not worry we are about Sigmar's work. Wrong room.”

Lothar kicks open the correct door, sees the open window, and is just in time to spot Phillipe in the yard- rushing for the stable.

“So long you Reiklander pig dogs!” Phillipe helpfully states.

Lothar starts shouting too, telling everyone where Phillipe is at.

Where's Fergus in all of this you are asking yourselves, well- chasing involves Athletics checks, and Fergus has no Athletics score to talk about, or else his dice are broken and he keeps failing badly.

Therefore the dwarf, hearing Lothar shouting about Phillipe going out of the window, follows the tumbling Gustav down the stairs. There are more bedrooms down here... Fergus stumbles into the first room that's vaguely in the right direction, which turns out to be Janna's, Lady Isolde's maid, there is screaming. The dwarf bumbles forward, apologising as he goes, and then flings himself out of the window.

But...

Gets wedged.

The next few turns involve a squirming Fergus trying to fall out into the yard while a screeching Janna repeatedly beats the dwarf's window-blocking backside.

So, next up, where's Olek in all of this- the big man after recovering his wits, he hid beneath the table with the coachmen in the bar for a while, heads out into the yard and makes for the main gate of the inn compound, and there he hides- dagger in hand, ready to stab Phillipe if he comes this way.

Which he doesn't, but not for the want of trying.

In the meantime Frederich and then Lothar (with a Fortune Point) have both managed to safely climb out of Phillipe's room and jump down into the yard.

What's more, moments later after Phillipe rolls badly on his Athletics check- and then uses his Luck talent to try again and rolls even worse... both of the Witch Hunters catch up with the Bretonnian who has however also managed to get his pistol loaded (Rapid Reload).

There's a fracas- Frederich punches and winds Phillipe, while Lothar bundles him into the wall of the stables and pins him there (Entangle 2).

Prior to this Phillipe whines a lot and tries to weasel his way out of the situation, but that doesn't work.

The Bretonnian is captured.

Phillipe makes rash offers, he tries to buy his way out of the situation but... it's at this point that Fergus falls out of the (ground floor) window he was stuck in, the dwarf falls on his face (but briefly) gets up swiftly and comes screaming for the card sharp.

“Tha's nowt burra CHEATING bastard!”

Fergus arrives on the scene hand axe in hand-

“Tha's right, 'old 'im down. I'm gunna chop 'is 'ands off!”

Fergus is eventually persuaded not to maim the Bretonnian, he puts his hand axe away- gets a good run up and boots Phillipe in the balls.

Later the Dwarf apologises for his behavior- he really doesn't like cheaters (see his backstory).

Prior to this Phillipe was trying to either a) persuade the Witch Hunters et al to let him go, or else b) try to break Lothar's hold on him. My dice were broken either way.

2.04 Phillipe Pinned.jpg

Lothar & Frederich grapple Phillipe, Fergus puts the boot in.

Thirty seconds later Gustav, Erpin, the drunken coachmen, Olek and a bunch of other folk spill out of the inn and make for the scene.

Two minutes later and two large Ostlers, and the Smith from the inn, have dragged Phillipe away- the Bretonnian is screaming in pain and threatening revenge on Fergus, who he thought was his friend.

And there endeth the scene, except to say that a little later on- after another calming (on the house) drink in the bar, Gustav upgrades the PCs to a room, and gives them a little reward- taken from Phillipe's pockets, this after taking money to pay for the damage to his inn.

Blackie the Crow yet lives, the poor creature has however lost some feathers.

The PCs are the heroes of the hour.

Next, a vote for XP for this scene- although the DM makes clear to the PCs- killing Phillipe would have achieved 0 XP.

Olek 8 XP, Fergus 10 XP, Lothar & Frederich 12 XP each.

To be honest it was pretty exciting and it all moved marvelously quickly in the chase.

SCENE 7. Slow Coach.

Breakfast the next morning, Fergus has healed his wounds (he fell out of a ground floor window) and all is well with the world.

Lady Isolde is very impressed with Lothar and his companions, although concerned that Janna still looks like her face is on fire, the face paint will not come off.

Fergus gabbles at the noble in his dull Reiklander brogue, Lothar is called upon to translate.

“What does he say Lothar? What language is he speaking?” Lady I asks her favourite Burner.

“He says that the face paint should wear off in a week or so, and the language- that's northern.” Lothar replies.

Note everything that Fergus says in is in some odd version of broad Yorkshire.

Then... it becomes apparent that the only people not present and correct in the bar are... the two coachmen- the pair are roused, eventually, and then Lothar gets all of his companions to help get the coach ready so that they can leave on time, or else sooner.

He's so helpful.

Soon after everyone is assembled in the yard.

At which point Frederich spots that there's a spare seat inside the carriage, paid for by Phillipe- who is at present languishing in the Roadwarden's cell here at the inn. The Burner decides to ride inside, although Lady I isn't so keen.

“I will not have you poke me with your dirty knees and elbows!”

A little back and forth follows, with Frederich trying to smooth the way- that doesn't work but then Lothar steps in and somehow makes it all right again.

Lothar has had to make three or four Charm checks so far to persuade Lady I of a variety of things, he's not replicated his first roll (+5 SL) but neither has he failed a check since.

Soon after the coach is ready to depart, only now one of the coachmen is asleep- Frederich gets out and sloshes a bucker of water over the fellow- which isn't appreciated. While the second coachman is just plain missing- Fergus & Olek track the fellow down to the smallest room (the toilet). The coachman there- Gunnar, is suffering some discomfort, Fergus manages to sell the unfortunate some coloured honey he had left from his face painting, (Fergus has, I think, a few points in a Herbalism skill) this in the guise of a digestive tonic.

More remarkably not only does the dwarf manage to make the sale, but... the tonic does the job (from memory there was another critical success roll here), the power of the placebo.

Soon after the coach departs.

2.05 Coach Seats.jpg

Are we all sitting comfortably.

Although, it soon becomes apparent that the coachmen, as hung-over as they are, are not exactly hurrying the horses on.

Lady Isolde is not happy, and when she's not happy...

“Lothar, will you please do something about this tarrying...”

The coach is stopped, and soon after Olek and Lothar take the reins, actually it's Olek at the reins, and we're on our way again- and at speed this time.

At which point the rain comes down,

It really does.

The heaven's open.

The two coachmen in their thick coats manage to wedge themselves in with the luggage and undercover, Fergus attempts to employ a similar technique but is not that successful, for Lothar and Olek there's no cover.

Remind me to make you three take a check for catching a Cold at the start of the next session- all part of the tutorial.

You are welcome.

Anyway, on we go...

And Olek is really getting the hang of things, the coach and horses is getting up to speed.

That is until on a hard right turn both of the stand-in coachman hear a very odd sound, something akin to piece of metal sheering and breaking, and then the pair watch in terror as the front left wheel departs the axle and trundles off towards the forest.

Note, several of the folk on the inside of the coach also watch this event take place.

The coach- natch, overtakes the wheel.

The neophyte coachmen contrive (with the use of Fortune Points) to eventually arrest the coach's progress, while up on the roof Fergus- who has roped himself to the luggage rack (smart fellow) uses his bodyweight as a counter-balance.

The coach skids to a halt, and then teeters on just three wheels.

Alas those inside the coach are forced to make Athletics check or else... remarkably the only failure is from Frederich who is catapulted face first into... well, it's a bit tawdry I know but- into the bosom of Lady Isolde Von Strudelhof.

At which point it really kicks off, although only briefly, Marie (Lady I's bodyguard) is between the outraged noble and Frederich in seconds.

Frederich, in his ponderous and dour way, is apologising- Marie really isn't happy, but... Frederich's dice are on his side, for the first time ever with Lady Isolde.

Eventually all inside the coach retake their seats, and once there they sit and teeter in stony silence.

On the outside of the coach Fergus remains roped and swaying, leant over the opposite side to the missing wheel, while Olek and Lothar fetch the (remarkably) undamaged wheel and re-affix it to the axle. Olek is a Smith's apprentice remember. It takes a while... nearly an hour to get it properly on, but... then we go on.

To Altdorf.

Or else in that direction, the coach has not travelled far so far today.

The sign ahead declares- 120 miles to Altdorf.

But that's as far as we got tonight- two sessions and Chapter 1 is complete.

All of the PCs used all of their Fortune Points this session- that's fantastic.

There was lots of laughter in this one.

The final XP table is below, note as per the book I gave XP (third to last column) for the PCs interactions with Lady Isolde, and with regard to their getting on the coach to Altdorf with her and her companions. Well, I say 'I gave XP' actually I didn't- the PCs decide who gets what with their voting every time.

PC

Rumours

Phillipe Descartes

Capture Phillipe

Lady Isolde & the Coach

Session XP

Total

Fred (Jim)

0

4

12

7

40

63

Fergus (Ben)

0

5

10

8

45

68

Olek (George)

1

5

8

9

45

68

Lothar (Kev)

1

6

12

9

45

73

It's a cracking game.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 
Last edited:

Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #03 Massacre on the Altdorf Road.

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.

Looks Like:
Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.
Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf, and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.

Looks Like:
Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.
Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.

Looks Like:
Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.
Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.

Looks Like:
Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.
Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Here we go again.

And as with the last session, much fun was had by all, and there's plenty of it- sorry.

Although at the start of the session the PCs collective dice were broken, they didn't make a check in the first hour- any of 'em, at least not without the use of a Fortune Point or three.

Then... their dice started rolling good.

Real good.

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
120 MILES TO ALTDORF.


SCENE 1.


To Altdorf, or at least the next coaching inn down the road.

3.00 Coach.png

That's an Old World style coach down at the bottom of the image, I didn't want the PCs thinking it was some posh/ornate/fragile horse drawn carriage as seen in costume dramas. It's a tank, or rather an APC.

And at last the two coachmen are awake, they slept through much/all of last week's coach-bound activity, even when the PCs had to change the wheel- the coachmen snored on.

So, Gunnar & Hultz (the coachmen) are happy to show Olek and Lothar the ropes, how to drive a coach, this in case they want to take any ranks in the skill later.

The coachmen however are also keen to stop at the next inn along the track- the Five Brothers Inn, they want to make sure that Olek's wheel repair is good, and to get fresh horses- so that they can put a final spurt on for the day, and get as close as they can to Altdorf for the final run to the capitol tomorrow.

And so that's what happens.

Although, gaining the entrance to the Five Brother's Inn is made a little more complicated, while turning into the compound Olek (at the reins) spots that there's another coach coming out of the compound at full throttle. Olek, with help from Lothar (& Gunnar and Hultz) manages to avoid the collision.

“Get out of the way you blithering BLUDDY idiots!” Comes the cry from atop the emerging coach, which is... the same Four Seasons coach that nearly ran the adventurers down way back at the Coach & Horses.

The two parties exchange insults, albeit briefly, as the Four Seasons coach clatters off up the road.

Then, an hour's break at the Five Brother's. The newly repaired wheel is checked over, Olek did a fine job, the apprentice smith helps out at the forge here, but alas his rolls are... bad.

Meantime Frederich tries to soften Lady Isolode's attitude towards him a little, while Lothar tries to engage Ernst in conversation. Ernst is a fellow passenger on the coach, the young lad with the book- he's always reading. Fergus heads to the bar for a pint, and once there attempts to overhear any fresh rumours of the road ahead, and...

Every roll they make is pants.

I don't remember one success here, and Fortune Points were spent, by at least three of them.

An hour later, and none the wiser- save to say that the adventurers have learned that the Four Seasons coach they keep bumping into is having a bad day too. The late running stage has broken down at least twice, hence the coachmen's hurry. The PCs on their Ratchett Lines coach, with all it's passengers aboard, depart the Five Brothers Inn.

At speed.

SCENE 2.

Two hours later, and it's still full pace all the way, although the coach slows to round a bend and...

There's a fellow a little way up the road, bent over something... or somebody.

The two coachmen, with Olek sharing the bench with the pair, and Fergus perched atop the luggage are the first to spot the dishevelled fellow, although their shouts bring Lothar (inside the coach) to the window to witness what happens next.

Which is...

The foul fellow in the road spits something from his mouth (a severed hand several of them make out- that's not good) and then rushes the coach, or else rushes the horses, brandishing a dagger and making grunting feral sounds.

“Row! ROW! ROW!”

3.01 Rolf.png

The horses panic and bolt, snapping the traces, Hultz- arms wrapped in the reins, is wrenched off the coach and then dragged kicking and screaming in to the dark of the Drakwald by the team of four.

Gunnar slams on the brake.

The coach slews to a halt, stopping just short of the trees.

Those atop the coach cling on.

Those within the coach tumble about, or else Lothar does- the Witch Hunter plunges head-first into the bosom of Lady Isolde (it's his turn it seems).

Then, the disheveled mutant clambers up the side of the coach and stands aloft, menacing the driver, and now for all to see.

This foul fellow's flesh is pocked, ripped and scarred- exposing the body's mechanics to the world in places. Furthermore the foul mutant's eyes exude a green ichor which flecks, spits and seems to glow in the mawkish light.

It's overcast now, and raining- of course.

3.02 Dead Rolf.png

Here we go, our first combat proper, and this after a thorough re-reading of Fate, Fortune, Resolve & Resilience; followed by the rules for gaining and losing Advantage.

The mutant however is a fearsome sight (Fear 3 to be exact).

The PCs however are clearly unimpressed, in what follows all four adventurers accumulate the three Success Levels they need to overcome the Fear in their first turn (three of them as soon as they see the mutant).

That was three rolls of '0-something' on their respective Cool Tests.

Fergus charges into action but alas flails wildly at the mutant- Miss, spend Fortune Point- Miss again, succumb to the Whispers of the Ruinous Powers (gain a Corruption Point) to get a re-roll and- Miss again.

Olek stabs the mutant- as he screams for Lothar and his brother-

“CORRUPTION BROTHER! A FOUL MUTANT MENACES US!”

Olek's a big lad but with a sub-optimal combat ability (and low Strength), the mutant is unperturbed by his attack.

It ignores Olek and stabs the Surprised coachman, Gunnar, in the thigh- he immediately gains a Broken condition, and moments later whilst voiding his bowels and bladder, Gunnar tearfully attempts to crawl away from danger. Screaming all the while-

“NOOOOO! SIGMAR! NOOOOO! Please, I don't want to die...”

Gunnar gets stabbed again, in the arse this time, he's not doing very well.

And now the mutant has got a couple of points of Advantage.

But not enough.

Frederich climbs out of the carriage-

“I will be back in but a moment lady... Lothar, would you care to join me on the roof. We have work to do.”

The surly Witch Hunter then clambers up onto the roof of the coach, there he spots the feral fearsome mutant (and rolls '04' on his Cool check).

“It is time for you to die!”

He strides over and stabs, and Crits (double roll), the mutant (also reducing it to 0 HP).

Frederich's sword almost severs the creatures shoulder/neck.

There's blood everywhere, an artery is hit.

The mutant tumbles off the carriage and thumps down into the solid wood of the yoke.

He's just in time to encounter Lothar.

The second Witch Hunter, face still stinging from Lady Isolde's slap, exits the carriage-

“My apologies my lady, I must redeem myself...”

Lothar strides out, spots the mutant, rolls '06' on his Cool check and then smashes his mace repeatedly in the miscreant's face.

He doesn't stop smashing.

Even when the mutant, scrabbling and flailing, shouts out....

“LOTHAR! LOTHAR! I'VE CHANGED!”

It's only afterwards that Lothar confirms that this ugly fellow is indeed his best friend from Ubersreik, Rolf Hurtsis.

No tears are shed.

Note, three of the four PCs were given the names of folk (one NPC each) who they would encounter during this adventure, these folk were their friends- they could be trusted, relied upon etc.

Note, the last PC is looking for someone.

But, we'll get to this.

Well, here's Lothar's drinking buddy- Rolf.

Or rather, here was Rolf.

Note we played the combat out in full, Rolf went unconscious because he was left with 0 wounds and several Bleeding conditions, and then Lothar arrived to finish the job.

There follows lots of activity, briefly-

Olek apologises to the coach passengers for the temporary delay, Lady Isolde is very calm- she however insists that the coach be made road-worthy (i.e. get the horses, and the other coachman) as quickly as possible.

The two Witch Hunters discover, simultaneously, that there's another dead body in the road- a coachman (Four Seasons, wouldn't you know it). This poor fellow has a crossbow bolt through his neck. He does however have a leather jack and a sleeved mail shirt- the pair (who have no armour) divvy up the spoils.

I believe Frederich punched the air.

Hardly seemly.

Note, the pair discern that this fellow is one of the Four Season coachmen that they have encountered twice already on the road.

The pair next discover that the coachman has a full money pouch (well, relatively 10+ shillings) there follows a bit of debate about whether this money should be taken. Oleg, who has wandered over to help out, is against it- everyone else is for sharing out the loot. Sense prevails and the adventurers are a little richer.

Then, Fergus- keeping watch, spots that something is coming at speed towards them, crashing through the woods, the adventurers make ready to receive.

But...

“Don't SHOOT! It's Hultz!”

The second coachman is badly wounded and also Broken. He screams, snivels and generally behaves like a man way out of his depth.

Frederich tries to Intimidate Hultz better.

It really doesn't go well.

Hultz crawls under the coach to cry and shiver.

Note, earlier Frederich tried to salve Gunnar's wounds with a Heal check, the result- another wound for Gunnar, he makes the ailment worse.

The coachmen are not in a good place, and both of them are terrified of Frederich.

He seems to have a way with folk- even when he's trying to be nice, also on these occasions his dice hate him.

Then, because Lady Isolde is really starting to get fractious-

“Lothar, THE HORSES! LOTHAR!”

The PCs, of course, have worked out that the coachman was shot with a crossbow, mutant Rolf was not armed with a crossbow, and there's no crossbow to be found hereabouts, therefore... someone else shot the coachman.

The PCs are wary.

Which isn't helped when they plunge into the woods,

3.03.png

The Drakwald is... dark.

There are odd noises here and... it's really not a pleasant place.

Fergus, the Guide, leads the way.

Eventually, after five minutes of wandering- stopping repeatedly after hearing crashing noises, and at last into a clearing.

The horses are here.

They're spooked but Frederich has Animal Affinity, and the other PCs help out, soon after all four horses are calm and being lead back into the road.

There the (still) snivelling coachmen get on with reattaching the mounts, while Lady Isolde has another word with Lothar, in the PCs absence every now and then, she explains, there's a noise, a strangled cry from further up the foggy road.

Note, the road here is in effect a long bend, and what with the rain and fog there's not much ahead to be seen.

Thirty seconds later and the noise comes again.

Fergus thinks it sounds like a horse in pain, dying.

The PCs decide to investigate.

SCENE 3.

Cutting through the woods the PCs discover-

3.04.png

The rest of the Four Seasons coach and its crew, the road is littered with dead bodies, two of the carriage's horses have been slaughtered while the remaining two beasts, still attached to the wagon, are being attacked by a giggling, dancing pin-headed mutant with an axe.

A dog-headed mutant is slumped against the overturned carriage, clutching at his badly wounded leg, while another mutant with a cone-head tears off rags to bind the wound.

A tough-looking scale-skinned mutant, armed with a crossbow, searches the bodies, while a little way further down the road a goat-legged mutant capers in delight as it tears chunks of flesh from one of the fallen.

“Knud, KNUD! This fellow tastes absolutely delicious!”

The mutant adds in a cultured accent.

We review the rules for Surprise, the book says the mutants are Surprised for two rounds in this tutorial combat encounter. I say the PCs can have one turn with Surprise (to throw stones, they don't have any other missile weapons) but on the second turn the Surprise condition goes away (immediately) when a mutant is attacked or else takes a hit.

The PCs also pour over the Combat Modifiers sheet to see what other help they can get, eventually figuring that two of the PCs can get close enough (and still be in cover) to be a Short Range for their stone flinging.

It goes a little like this...

All four PCs take a moment to aim and then fling their various rocks- all at Knud, who they have identified as the leader of this band. Note, Knud is also the only one of the mutants that isn't wounded.

Further note- I doubled all of the mutants wounds remaining. So, if it said 3 wounds left in the book, I made it 6.

It didn't help any.

Three stones hit Knud- two of them big hits (Fergus & Lothar) and the mutant leader is reduced to just one wound remaining before he knows what is happening.

Frederich alas conjures a '99' on his stone throwing attack, and is already out of Fortune Points, and doesn't want any Corruption, we therefore roll on the Oopsie Table. The Witch Hunter tears a muscle (minor) in his off-hand.

Then Fergus rushes in and more or less decapitates Knud (with a '98' on his Crit). The big fellow gains 4 Bleeding and is on 0 wounds. Knud goes unconscious moments later and Fergus finishes the job.

“Reet. Wha's next?” The Dwarf declares.

Meantime Frederich rushes in and Crits (that's a rolled Crit- a double) the pointy-headed mutant, leaving it Stunned and Bleeding (and on 0 wounds). Seconds later his follow up shot ends the beast.

Lothar is equally abusive to the pin-headed mutant who is still flailing wildly at the horses- his first attack reduces the creatures to 0 wounds- a Crit is rolled and the mutant collapses beneath the legs of the wildly bucking horses.

3.05.png

The Witch Hunter smashes the mutant's legs, the only bit he can reach, while the horses stamp the foul fellow's tiny skull to pulp.

Olek rushes in and barges past his brother- to the dog-headed mutant, already badly wounded and now trying to regain his feet. Olek's attack reduces the mutant to 0 wounds, which turns into a Crit that leaves the mutant's already mangled left leg a bloody stump.

The Bleeding condition causes the mutant to fall unconscious, Olek doesn't stop stabbing- climbing up the mutant's body using his small piercing blade like an ice-axe, screaming all the while-

“SIGMAR TAKE YOU FOUL ABOMINATION!”

The mutant dies.

Which just leaves the goat-legged mutant a little ways back down the road.

All four PCs race to see which of them can get there first.

Note, the last mutant is no-longer Surprised, he has however also got the lowest Initiative.

3.06.png

Frederich gets their first, and rolls another Crit, and another double, '88' from memory- Fergus and Fred were both on 5 Advantage each at this point, Olek & Lothar with 4 apiece.

Note, I've capped Advantage at 5, the only way you can get more- have an Initiative bonus that's greater than '5', that's the N/PCs max Advantage.

Frederich severs goat-leg's right arm, and reduces him to 0 wounds and with Bleeding conditions, soon after the Witch Hunter decapitates the last mutant the hard way- holding his blade two handed (one hand on the hilt, the other on the tip of the blade) and pushing/sawing the weapon through goat-leg's neck.

It's not pleasant.

The massacre is complete.

At which point the PCs see what they have wrought.

And then roll for Corruption, from memory only Frederich ends the session without a single stain upon his character, his Witch Hunter honour intact- not a doubt in his mind. Fergus, Lothar & Olek have one point of Corruption each.

But that's as far as we got tonight- we spent a good twenty minutes chatting about how combat went and what lessons the players have learned. George (Olek) summarised it best- 'get in early, get on the front foot and never let up.'

In truth both combats were short and brutal, although the second one took maybe eighty minutes to play out two-and-a-bit rounds of action. The PCs never suffered a hit, not even an attack.

In the first fight I figured that Rolf's Fear effect would keep a few of them at bay, I didn't account for three of them rolling '0-something'. Still, I managed to get a couple of points of Advantage on Rolf by stabbing the coachman Gunner- but then Olek stabbed Rolf and away the Advantage flew, and then Frederich hit with a massive Crit.

The second fight... the PCs just did the math, and built their Advantage; the fact that the mutants were all Surprised (save the last one) for their first melee attack, coupled with the fact that they were all (except Knud) wounded. Well, all of the mutants took a Crit in their first unopposed attack. The PCs were clever, of course, to target Knud- but they had all of the clues due to making good Perception and/or Intuition checks before the fight kicked off.

All of the PCs used all of their Fortune Points again this session- that's fantastic.

There was lots of laughter in this one.

The final XP table is below, note the PCs will each receive 5 XP when they meet their friend (see previous). Alas Lothar's friend turned out to be a mutant, you just can't trust the Old World. Oh, and I gave a bonus 1 XP for every mutant slaughtered. The 'Vs Rolf', 'Mutant Ambush' and 'Session XP' columns were, of course, as voted by the PCs. Nothing to do with me.

PCVs RolfLothar's FriendMutant AmbushDead Mutants Session XPTotal
Fred (Jim)51024562
Fergus (Ben) 4 9 1 45 59
Olek (George) 4 9 1 40 54
Lothar (Kev) 4 5 8 2 40 59

It's a cracking game.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 
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Goonalan

Legend
Supporter
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #04 A Non-Consensual Face Tigering.

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.

Looks Like:
Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.

Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf, and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.

Looks Like:
Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.

Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.

Looks Like:
Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.

Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.

Looks Like:
Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.

Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Here we go again.

It’s over 24 hours later and I’m still laughing about what went on in this session.

Strap in.

Oh, but there are only two pictures here, there was a lot going on (and wrong)- at times, a good chunk of it of the PCs own making.

Read on…

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
A BIT FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO ALTDORF.

SCENE 4. Spell Kastor.

To Altdorf, still.

Last session the PCs coach was attacked by mutant Rolf, Lothar’s ex-best-friend and drinking buddy from Ubersreik, and then the adventurers ambushed, stoned and then hacked apart a bunch more mutant scum.

So, this week we start with the spoils…

And let me just take a moment, the following section represents over ninety minutes of play.

Ninety.

Nine-tee.

Got that.

At one point the PCs were dicing off to see who gets the spare pair of woollen socks that one of the dead coach travellers had in his backpack.

And so, when it comes to the Crossbow, and the Blunderbuss, and the armour… well, there were no actual shouty arguments but there were several attempts by a variety of PCs to try to hide things that they have found (looted) away.

Away from the prying eyes of the other PCs.

Which, as it turns out, is difficult to do with a Blunderbuss.

Or a Crossbow.

So, there are ten bodies in total- five mutants, four passengers from the coach and the last coachman. The PCs pick corpses at random, and rifle ‘em, and gather lots of stuff- right down to socks, and gloves, and rations, and bags of charcoal, and… well, several of the dead folk now look like they were involved in some sort of dark ritual. There’s been an awful lot of blood spilled here, and after the looting stops several of the corpses are well on the way to being naked.

Then… eventually, after (some of, see later) the clamour over the spoils of war is over, the two Witch Hunters discover a blood trail, heading into the woods, into the deep dark Drakwald.

The PCs tool up to head on in.

Note, at this point Frederich grabs up the crossbow and loads it- this causes more arguments to start up, and the trip into the Drakwald is postponed for a while. That is until Frederich points out that although the arguments have not yet run their course regarding who is going to keep the Crossbow. It would however be better, as they are about to enter the Drakwald, for one of them to be carrying the best missile weapon that any one of them can use, or else we’ll just leave it in the road…

He has a point.

We enter the Drakwald, Fergus- the Scout/Guide, leading the way…

Only, the body at the end of the blood trail is less than twenty feet or so into the woods, so that was a lot of kerfuffle for nothing.

But then it gets interesting…

Fergus turns the body over- it’s face down initially, and the gathered crowd discover, the dead fellow with two crossbow bolts in his back here… looks (looked) exactly like Lothar.

Exactly.

I mean… exactly.

This guy could be Lothar’s twin.

Fergus spots a piece of paper, and a purse, in the dead fellow’s top pocket- he’s also wearing a very nice coat, and clothes, and shoes, and is also toting a hefty-looking backpack.

The PCs eyes light up- more loot to snaffle.

Anyway, the piece of paper seems to be some sort of legal document- Fergus reads it out to his friends- this itself (he roleplays all the while does Ben) involves much stopping and starting, and the slow stumbling over the difficult words.

Basically, the document states that the two signed witnesses to this statement- the head of the Merchant’s Guild & a Priestess of Sigmar (both in Nuln) attest that the bearer of this document is Kastor Alyiosus Lieberung. The document was written, and is also signed, by a lawyer from Nuln.

It’s ID.

Note the PCs attempt various checks to try to figure out the exact purpose, or else the name, of this sort of document. Their dice are alas broken.

Note, none of the players could remember the real-world name of such a document either.

The adventurers discuss this find, while Fergus continues to go through this fellow’s gear, some of which is high end, see above, including- woollen socks, a pewter hip flask full of booze (Fergus grabs this), some very nice-looking rations- salt pork, fresh bread, apples etc.

They really are a pack of wolves.

Anyway, eventually hidden away at the bottom of Kastor’s rucksack is a second pouch full of money- there are over thirty shillings in here.

And keep in mind these guys are/were all dirt poor.

Their dice failed them (all of ‘em) when it came to rolling up their silver and brass at the start.

Although they found two gold crowns and a bit of jewellery on the mutants they slaughtered in the road last session, so… they’re starting to think about things that they want to buy when they eventually get to Altdorf.

But that’s not the showstopper, the thirty shillings are soon forgotten, because hidden away in the money pouch, folded up real small, is yet another document.

Another legal document.

4.01.png

The second document, also written by a lawyer- this one in Bogenhafen, is addressed to Herr Lieberung. There follows a sea of legalese- and keep in mind that it’s Fergus stumbling through the text again. But the gist of the document is this- Kastor Alyiosus Lieberung is the ‘sole beneficiary’ to the ‘Title and all Lands and Estates’ of the late Baronet Lieberung of Ubersreik.

And is also due to inherit twenty thousand gold crowns.

All Kastor needs to do is to turn up at the lawyer’s offices in Bogenhafen with a signed affidavit confirming his identity.

It’s a funny Old World.

Do you see what I did, I put the documents the other way around.

Anyway…

There is some whooping, a modicum of doubt, and then… Frederich goes all glassy eyed for a moment.

Remember to inject a fair amount of menace into the following speech-

“With this money, Lothar. Think what we could do… We could build an army. An army for Sigmar!”

Lothar looks much less certain.

“I can’t even spell Kastor.”

The discussions rumble on.

And on…

And then the final winner-takes-all main-event for the dicing off for the spoils, Lothar gets the Crossbow- he suggested the dice off, and then rolled first, and… rolled- ‘100’. Which, oddly enough, remained unbeaten.

Fergus gets the Blunderbuss, he’s a very happy Dawi.

KABOOM!

All he has to do now is to learn how to use it.

Kastor, I mean Lothar, is made- after much cajoling, to dress just like… well, Kastor.

But then Olek has a thought- what happens if someone else finds this body…

Frederich is all for a pyre, but Olek points out that citizens of the Empire need to be buried within the precincts of Morr. That was the lesson learned in Session One of this adventure- Johann Baumann, remember.

Frederich however is not to be dissuaded, he starts work on a pyre for the mutants, and soon seems very content, he even takes to humming a happy tune as he works.

But back to dead Kastor…

Lothar cannot bring himself to further mark the face of dead Kastor (as he puts it- ‘it’s my face’), and so… he defiles the corpse, by shaving off its moustache.

A little later Fergus begins to harbour doubts, even without a moustache dead Kastor looks a lot like living Kastor (Lothar).

The Dawi therefore decides to make sure, he grabs out one of his handy rocks- he keeps a couple in his pockets these days (after the last session), and caves dead Kastor’s face-in.

That’s settled it.

Then… just as Fergus is about to get the blaze started…

The sound of horses on the road- approaching at speed.

Then, and inevitably, the shouting and the waving of guns.

That’s the end of the first scene for the session, and 5 XP (the max) for every PC. I had tears in my eyes for a good chunk of it.

Particularly when one of the players said- “are we really arguing over socks?”

And their reply- “Yes, they’re really nice, and woollen, and besides (back in character)- I’ve never owned a pair of socks.”

SCENE 5. The Po-Po.

The title refers to the fact that about five minutes before we got to the end of the scene above Jim (who plays Frederich) said OOC, ‘you know what’s going to happen next? The Po-Po are going to turn up.’

The Po-Po, for those not down with the kids (which oddly enough was just Kev/Lothar at the VTT), are the Po-Lease. The 5-0.

And sure enough clattering in to the adventurers lives come six heavily armoured, and armed, mounted members of the Road Wardens, led by Sgt. Magnus Pflaster, who has a pistol and is not afraid to wave it in folk’s faces.

Note, back at the Coach & Horses Inn Philipe Descrates made clear to the PCs- the Roadwardens are trouble, all of them worse than bandits.

And so…

The word trepidation springs to mind.

Back to the action…

Where were we?

Oh yes, Sgt Pflaster is waving his gun around.

While shouting at the PCs.

“GET INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD- DROP YOUR WEAPONS, MOVE! NOW!”

4.02.png

And when men and women on big horses with halberds are herding you- well, you do as your told. This is the last picture for the evening.

Sgt Pflaster takes it in turns to shout at various PCs- to get them to tell their story, from the beginning. Getting each new PC to pick up the tale.

“YOU, WHAT IN SIGMAR’S NAME IS GOING ON HERE- START FROM THE BEGINNING, COME ON- SPEAK. NOW!”

That kind of thing.

And the Mrs had to come in from the room next door to tell me off for shouting so loud, so…

I enjoyed myself.

And the PCs have to tell their story and answer a variety of other questions.

With a few checks thrown in to see if Sgt Pflaster is buying their spiel.

The last question, of course, is-

“HOW, IN SIGMAR’S HOLY NAME, DID IT COME TO PASS THAT ALL OF THE TRAVELLERS IN THE COACH WERE LEFT LYING IN THE ROAD IN THEIR UNDERCRACKERS?”

“The mutants.” Olek states- quickly, and confidently, “they were looting the bodies when we ambushed them.”

And that’s just one example of George in action this evening, Olek is a smart fellow, he always has an answer and quite often that answer is great, because it takes the sting out of things. And it’s an easy lie because it accounts for reality, and no-one is to blame, certainly not the PCs.

Great play Olek/George.

The other PCs rely (mostly, not Fergus) on simpering, and sucking up to the men and women on horses with big pointy weapons.

Then there are more dice rolls, and it’s all okay in the end.

One of the Roadwardens, Baldwin, has already been sent up the road to locate the Ratchet Lines coach, and Lady Isolde.

Meantime, after a bit of blather with Sgt Pflaster, Frederich gets his mutant corpse pyre burning- the Witch Hunter is on cloud nine, his first ever mutant pyre.

The rest of the PCs are tasked to clear up the scene, right the coach, and…

Then, the thunder of hooves and Baldwin is back.

Sgt Pflaster and Baldwin whisper and confer, Fergus tries to get close enough to hear what’s going on, but…

Seconds later and the gun is out and being waved about again, and soon after and the other Roadwarden’s are back on their mounts- and suitably armed and back to being shouty too, and once again the PCs are lined up in the road, their weapons cast aside, etc.

See previous.

Oh, and the sarge is back to shouting.

Although that doesn’t last long, next each PC is made to step forward for close inspection, by Baldwin and Pflaster.

The PCs, all of them, pass this somewhat odd close inspection- the Roadwarden pair spend a good minute staring hard at each PC in turn, particularly looking at their faces.

Although at this point none of the PCs have the first clue as to what is going on here, and when they ask someone shuts them up by digging them in the back with a halberd, or else shouting and pistol waving some more.

I’m having a hoot.

But then it gets serious. Pflaster apologises, a little, for his last tirade- and then explains,

“One of the citizens in the coach on which you were travelling has all the signs of a deadly contagion. A disease we are very familiar with…”

The PCs, of course, are concerned, they have questions, particularly as they have just spent the last Sigmar knows how many hours in the company of the other travellers.

Pflaster further explains that he and his patrol are new to the Altdorf Road, their previous ‘patch’ was on and about the roads near the village of Blutroch.

At which point several of the PCs remember that Philipe Descartes, back at the Coach & Horses Inn, also told them that Blutroch was wiped out by a virulent disease. And the signs of the disease? Bright red blotches on the victim’s face.

Sgt Pflaster, sombrely, states-

“It’s the young girl, Janna- Baldwin here has no doubt, she’s got the Red Pox. Even as we speak Trooper Willirun is taking her into the woods to give her a swift and merciful death. Sigmar have mercy on her soul. We cannot allow the contagion to spread.”

It’s a touching moment.

Well, save for the laughter, as first one, and then two, and then… well, the PCs work it out.

Fergus’ Tiger face paint has still not worn off.

The dwarf tries to explain, but he’s very northern, very plain speaking, and with all the that’s going on, and all that he’s trying to say- well, he doesn’t really make any sense.

“I wuz…”

“I jus’ painted ‘er Tiger.”

“It’s the paint!”

“On ‘er face!”

“She’s not…”

It’s at this point that Frederich saves the day.

“If I may Sgt Pflaster, Janna does not have the Red Pox, she was- last night- subject to a non-consensual face Tigering. By this dwarf.”

Five minutes later, when Frederich has explained further, well… all heck breaks loose, all of the Roadwardens spur their mounts and charge off down the road- back towards the Ratchet Lines coach.

All of them screaming and shouting as they go- “No, Willi- NO! Don’t kill her! NO!” and variants on this theme.

The PCs are suddenly left alone again.

Bewildered.

Olek summarises.

“It seems they have ordered Janna slaughtered because Fergus painted her face like a Tiger last eve.”

Which works for me.

Frederich goes back to his pyre, Fergus shrugs and then mooches about a bit, checking the bodies some more- just in case he missed anything.

Lothar and Olek however remember that they took a short cut through the woods to this point, and if they run…

They run.

This pair therefore arrive at the next scene, which is chaos, far in advance of Frederich and Fergus.

SCENE 6. She’s a Wytch.

Back at the Ratchet Lines coach, well… there’s a lot of shouting, and as it turns out Lady Isolde is even louder then Sgt Pflaster.

Olek and Lothar get to the scene and start making sense of things.

However, it seems Trooper Willirun has already the woods with Janna a while ago, Lady Isolde’s maid may in fact already be dead.

There’s lots of shouting.

But the Drakwald is… dark.

Very dark, and there’s no sign which way the Trooper and Janna went in.

Lady Isolde takes charge, although she is helpfully advised to a course of action by both Olek and Lothar, basically they know which side of the road Willirun and Janna entered the woods, and so all able bodies should move forward into the woods in a line- shouting for Willirun and Janna, while also staying in contact with each other.

It works, but only slightly, at which point- at last, Frederich and Fergus make it to the scene, and the Guide, with a little help from his friends, has a much easier time of it.

He finds a trail. Or else- it’s the same trail as they followed last session to recover the horses, to a clearing- the same clearing.

And there they find the body of…

Trooper Willirun.

But no Janna.

Note, it’s only the PCs that are in this scene, they are (initially) the only ones to find this spot- funny that.

Frederich ascertains that Willirun is just stunned, or else out cold, and using an item from his torturer’s kit inflicts (with a pinch) enough pain to instantly wake the Trooper.

Who is groggy, then flustered, and finally very wary.

Frederich tries to explain the situation- Fergus and his Tiger face-painting.

Somewhere along the way it all goes very wrong- I think, from memory, it started to go bad when Fergus began trying to explain himself, let me illuminate. Fergus said something like this-

“I turned ‘er into a Tiger, a great big cat. I used paint on ‘er face so that she wud become the Tiger. I don’t mean a real Tiger. She’d not changed, not really- just become the Tiger. You get me? She were a Tiger. I painted her a Tiger. But not a real Tiger. Jus’ a painted one.”

Then, as usual, he rolls something beginning with ninety.

Willirun is suddenly screaming, she believes that Fergus has the ability to turn people into Tigers by painting on their faces.

To make clear- Willirun doesn’t really know what a Tiger is, or what it looks like, she knows what a great cat is however…

Anyway, Willirun’s confusion is somewhat understandable because, that was pretty much exactly what Fergus told her.

The PCs scramble to come up with some other explanation of events.

Olek gets to it first.

“It is clear that this Janna is a witch! A practitioner of the Dark Arts!”

And the accompanying dice roll is an astounding success (+6 SL).

Willirun goes with it.

As do the other PCs.

“She was a wytch. She was a wytch.” The Trooper murmurs over and over as she relives the events in the clearing, which she of course imparts to the PCs.

Which culminates in the following line from Trooper Willirun…

“She was a wytch, that’s why she turned into a Great Cat.” Willirun is certain, she even nods several times to confirm this.

But now the PCs are on much less firm ground.

Frederich gets to the line first-

“What do you mean ‘she turned into a Great Cat’?”

Willirun further explains that just as she got Janna to the clearing, and her sword drawn- the young woman suddenly spun around to face her, and “her face, her body, it was shaping and changing… into a Great Cat.” Overcome by the sight of the transformation Willirun continues somewhat sheepishly, she leapt back and… hit her head on a branch of a tree.

The last thing she saw was Janna the Great Cat bounding away into the Drakwald.

Which takes a bit of time to recover from.

For the PCs.

Fergus doesn’t recover from this revelation for a good long while, I think he was still confused initially, believing that Willirun was seeing things, or else addled, or else…

It’s at this point, while Fergus is floundering “I jus’ painted ‘er, I never, I… jus’, I jus’, I mainly jus’ do Tigers”, that Frederich steps close to the dwarf and lets him (and everyone else) know-

“I will be watching you Fergus, I will be watching you for further signs of the taint.”

Which made everyone laugh at the time, well- everyone except Fergus.

It’s at this point, of course, that Sgt Pflaster and the rest of the troop make it to the spot, further explanations ensue.

Another twenty minutes RP and explanation for Lady Isolde.

But soon after, we are on the road again- the coaches and horses are all hooked up, the dead bodies of the coachmen and the other travelers bundled into the second (previously rolled) coach.

To the Seven Spokes Inn.

SCENE 7. Mainly admin.

The Seven Spokes is a lot like the Coach & Horses, except it’s busy here, but we are blasting through this bit, it’s admin- mostly.

The following events occur-

The PCs have to complete their individual statements/interviews with Sgt Pflaster, note I sent each PC a note in Fantasy Grounds with eight questions on that they had to answer, as if in interview.

These may surface sometime later in the narrative.

Then, after a few tense moments in the Haggle- the PCs are still not sure how much to trust the Roadwardens, the adventurers receive their reward, for the slaughter of the six mutants. Another thirty shillings, although the PCs very quickly agree that 10 shillings should go to the Roadwardens, for their aid in this matter.

Then, an hour drinking in the Seven Spokes barroom, this time guest of Sgt Pflaster- three of the PCs learn new rumours about the road ahead.

Then. The Roadwardens head off, they have business it seems at the next inn down the road- this after the PCs let them know all about their encounter with the Bretonnian card cheat- Philipe Descartes, at the Coach & Horses. Sgt Pflaster is keen to meet this fellow.

And now the PCs (I think it was Olek again) are learning how to deal with folk that piss them off- grass them up to the authorities.

Frederich meantime is looking for someone to help him with his torn muscle, and as at turns out there’s a doctor staying at the inn, she’s called Anika Pflaster, and sure enough she is related to the good Sgt, although she’s happy to have missed him. The good Sgt, according to his sister, is a ‘loud-mouthed bore’.

Frederich gets some healing; he will be 23 more days with -10 to any skills that involve the use of his left hand. This after an Oopsie with a torn muscle outcome when he was throwing rocks at the mutants.

Then, more drinking- and eating, and a room for the night. Two more of the PCs manage to learn a new rumour each. They only have four more to find in this section of the adventure.

Note, there’s 1 XP for each new rumour learned, Lothar has earned 5 XP this way, Olek 4, Fergus 2 and Frederich- zilch. That’s not a slight on any PCs, Fergus isn’t a Gossip (his skill is real low) and Frederich keeps rolling rumours that have already been heard- he’s done this at least three times to date. Twice tonight.

I’m not sure who used what with regard to Fortune Points this session.

Lots more laughter in this one.

The final XP table is below.

PCLooting & DocumentsJanna is a Great CatTitleRumoursSession XPTotal
Fred (Jim)54104050
Fergus (Ben)54013545
Olek (George)55024557
Lothar (Kev)53023545

I gave Frederich/Jim 1 XP for the line that became the title of this session and will again for the same in future sessions.

It's a cracking game, and very different from D&D, the players celebrated twenty-four hours (game time) and no deaths in the Old World yet, at the start of this session.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
 

GuyBoy

Hero
LETTERS FROM THE OLD WORLD.

The continuing adventures of the usual bunch of miscreants this time playing Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 4th edition, and The Enemy Within Campaign, of course.

SESSION #04 A Non-Consensual Face Tigering.

The PCs

Fergus McClean, Dwarf Scout (Guide) played by Bear.

Looks Like:
Rough and ready-for-anything Dawi- a bit unkempt; constantly muttering and grumbling at Seamus his imaginary dog.
Sounds Like: Northern 'I wur down t'mine', although taciturn, and always grumpy.

Fergus is a short embittered (divorced) Dawi from the mining village of Schwartzstein in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. That is until he discovered his best friend Seamus with his wife Cherrie. Fergus left his village and his old life behind and set off in search of adventure, eventually taking up Scouting as a living. He has business in Altdorf, and is at present journeying with three Manlings he has come to trust who are also on their way to the capital.

Frederich Hass, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Jim.

Looks Like:
Thick-set, tall with a resting angry face, never too far away from a snarl, otherwise well turned out.
Sounds Like: Whispering menace, accusatory- probing, but charming when he wants to be. Accent is brooding (intelligent) cod-Russian (like a clever but menacing Daktari). Note he sees the hand of the Ruinous Powers behind every untoward event.

Frederich and his brother Olek watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through-and-through, Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Lothar Jurgen Muller, Human Witch Hunter (Interrogator) played by Kev.

Looks Like:
Neat, tidy, clean-cut, perhaps even a little dashing- the boy next door, but doable- and always with a smile on his face, and often in his eyes. Lothar carries his own embroidered place mat with matching knife and fork. Manners and civility are so important.
Sounds Like: Civil, polite, formal, caring- and entirely without menace. He's a Paladin doing Witch Hunter, which may yet prove amusing.

Lothar is a baker's son from Ubersreik that just happened to become a Witch Hunter, he didn't just drift into it, he has a plan (perhaps). Lothar however came to Witch Hunting with the thought that he could perhaps be of help- to the Empire, to his family, to the poor wretches that have fallen into corruption, and possibly to help himself (a little) along the way. He is resolutely nice in a world full of foetid stink and terror.

Olek Hass, Human Artisan- Blacksmith (Apprentice) played by George.

Looks Like:
Seven (plus) feet tall, and not too skinny with it- lithe and muscled, he's a giant- with wild eyes.
Sounds Like: A camp Nazi constantly unfolding, expounding and explaining the mystery of ongoing events, and seeing the presence of Sigmar everywhere.

Olek and his brother Frederich watched their parents burned alive, prior to this a normal childhood was in progress. The Cult of Sigmar (with the help of the state) who burned Ma & Pa Hass then took the newly orphaned pair in and raised them to be model citizens. The orphans are Sigmarite through and-through- Frederich the crusader, he likes the power that it brings; Olek the instrument (or else Prophet) of Sigmar. They're not zealots, not warped and broken inside, no... not at all.

Here we go again.

It’s over 24 hours later and I’m still laughing about what went on in this session.

Strap in.

Oh, but there are only two pictures here, there was a lot going on (and wrong)- at times, a good chunk of it of the PCs own making.

Read on…

JAHRDRUNG, 2512.
A BIT FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO ALTDORF.

SCENE 4. Spell Kastor.

To Altdorf, still.

Last session the PCs coach was attacked by mutant Rolf, Lothar’s ex-best-friend and drinking buddy from Ubersreik, and then the adventurers ambushed, stoned and then hacked apart a bunch more mutant scum.

So, this week we start with the spoils…

And let me just take a moment, the following section represents over ninety minutes of play.

Ninety.

Nine-tee.

Got that.

At one point the PCs were dicing off to see who gets the spare pair of woollen socks that one of the dead coach travellers had in his backpack.

And so, when it comes to the Crossbow, and the Blunderbuss, and the armour… well, there were no actual shouty arguments but there were several attempts by a variety of PCs to try to hide things that they have found (looted) away.

Away from the prying eyes of the other PCs.

Which, as it turns out, is difficult to do with a Blunderbuss.

Or a Crossbow.

So, there are ten bodies in total- five mutants, four passengers from the coach and the last coachman. The PCs pick corpses at random, and rifle ‘em, and gather lots of stuff- right down to socks, and gloves, and rations, and bags of charcoal, and… well, several of the dead folk now look like they were involved in some sort of dark ritual. There’s been an awful lot of blood spilled here, and after the looting stops several of the corpses are well on the way to being naked.

Then… eventually, after (some of, see later) the clamour over the spoils of war is over, the two Witch Hunters discover a blood trail, heading into the woods, into the deep dark Drakwald.

The PCs tool up to head on in.

Note, at this point Frederich grabs up the crossbow and loads it- this causes more arguments to start up, and the trip into the Drakwald is postponed for a while. That is until Frederich points out that although the arguments have not yet run their course regarding who is going to keep the Crossbow. It would however be better, as they are about to enter the Drakwald, for one of them to be carrying the best missile weapon that any one of them can use, or else we’ll just leave it in the road…

He has a point.

We enter the Drakwald, Fergus- the Scout/Guide, leading the way…

Only, the body at the end of the blood trail is less than twenty feet or so into the woods, so that was a lot of kerfuffle for nothing.

But then it gets interesting…

Fergus turns the body over- it’s face down initially, and the gathered crowd discover, the dead fellow with two crossbow bolts in his back here… looks (looked) exactly like Lothar.

Exactly.

I mean… exactly.

This guy could be Lothar’s twin.

Fergus spots a piece of paper, and a purse, in the dead fellow’s top pocket- he’s also wearing a very nice coat, and clothes, and shoes, and is also toting a hefty-looking backpack.

The PCs eyes light up- more loot to snaffle.

Anyway, the piece of paper seems to be some sort of legal document- Fergus reads it out to his friends- this itself (he roleplays all the while does Ben) involves much stopping and starting, and the slow stumbling over the difficult words.

Basically, the document states that the two signed witnesses to this statement- the head of the Merchant’s Guild & a Priestess of Sigmar (both in Nuln) attest that the bearer of this document is Kastor Alyiosus Lieberung. The document was written, and is also signed, by a lawyer from Nuln.

It’s ID.

Note the PCs attempt various checks to try to figure out the exact purpose, or else the name, of this sort of document. Their dice are alas broken.

Note, none of the players could remember the real-world name of such a document either.

The adventurers discuss this find, while Fergus continues to go through this fellow’s gear, some of which is high end, see above, including- woollen socks, a pewter hip flask full of booze (Fergus grabs this), some very nice-looking rations- salt pork, fresh bread, apples etc.

They really are a pack of wolves.

Anyway, eventually hidden away at the bottom of Kastor’s rucksack is a second pouch full of money- there are over thirty shillings in here.

And keep in mind these guys are/were all dirt poor.

Their dice failed them (all of ‘em) when it came to rolling up their silver and brass at the start.

Although they found two gold crowns and a bit of jewellery on the mutants they slaughtered in the road last session, so… they’re starting to think about things that they want to buy when they eventually get to Altdorf.

But that’s not the showstopper, the thirty shillings are soon forgotten, because hidden away in the money pouch, folded up real small, is yet another document.

Another legal document.

View attachment 282481
The second document, also written by a lawyer- this one in Bogenhafen, is addressed to Herr Lieberung. There follows a sea of legalese- and keep in mind that it’s Fergus stumbling through the text again. But the gist of the document is this- Kastor Alyiosus Lieberung is the ‘sole beneficiary’ to the ‘Title and all Lands and Estates’ of the late Baronet Lieberung of Ubersreik.

And is also due to inherit twenty thousand gold crowns.

All Kastor needs to do is to turn up at the lawyer’s offices in Bogenhafen with a signed affidavit confirming his identity.

It’s a funny Old World.

Do you see what I did, I put the documents the other way around.

Anyway…

There is some whooping, a modicum of doubt, and then… Frederich goes all glassy eyed for a moment.

Remember to inject a fair amount of menace into the following speech-

“With this money, Lothar. Think what we could do… We could build an army. An army for Sigmar!”

Lothar looks much less certain.

“I can’t even spell Kastor.”

The discussions rumble on.

And on…

And then the final winner-takes-all main-event for the dicing off for the spoils, Lothar gets the Crossbow- he suggested the dice off, and then rolled first, and… rolled- ‘100’. Which, oddly enough, remained unbeaten.

Fergus gets the Blunderbuss, he’s a very happy Dawi.

KABOOM!

All he has to do now is to learn how to use it.

Kastor, I mean Lothar, is made- after much cajoling, to dress just like… well, Kastor.

But then Olek has a thought- what happens if someone else finds this body…

Frederich is all for a pyre, but Olek points out that citizens of the Empire need to be buried within the precincts of Morr. That was the lesson learned in Session One of this adventure- Johann Baumann, remember.

Frederich however is not to be dissuaded, he starts work on a pyre for the mutants, and soon seems very content, he even takes to humming a happy tune as he works.

But back to dead Kastor…

Lothar cannot bring himself to further mark the face of dead Kastor (as he puts it- ‘it’s my face’), and so… he defiles the corpse, by shaving off its moustache.

A little later Fergus begins to harbour doubts, even without a moustache dead Kastor looks a lot like living Kastor (Lothar).

The Dawi therefore decides to make sure, he grabs out one of his handy rocks- he keeps a couple in his pockets these days (after the last session), and caves dead Kastor’s face-in.

That’s settled it.

Then… just as Fergus is about to get the blaze started…

The sound of horses on the road- approaching at speed.

Then, and inevitably, the shouting and the waving of guns.

That’s the end of the first scene for the session, and 5 XP (the max) for every PC. I had tears in my eyes for a good chunk of it.

Particularly when one of the players said- “are we really arguing over socks?”

And their reply- “Yes, they’re really nice, and woollen, and besides (back in character)- I’ve never owned a pair of socks.”

SCENE 5. The Po-Po.

The title refers to the fact that about five minutes before we got to the end of the scene above Jim (who plays Frederich) said OOC, ‘you know what’s going to happen next? The Po-Po are going to turn up.’

The Po-Po, for those not down with the kids (which oddly enough was just Kev/Lothar at the VTT), are the Po-Lease. The 5-0.

And sure enough clattering in to the adventurers lives come six heavily armoured, and armed, mounted members of the Road Wardens, led by Sgt. Magnus Pflaster, who has a pistol and is not afraid to wave it in folk’s faces.

Note, back at the Coach & Horses Inn Philipe Descrates made clear to the PCs- the Roadwardens are trouble, all of them worse than bandits.

And so…

The word trepidation springs to mind.

Back to the action…

Where were we?

Oh yes, Sgt Pflaster is waving his gun around.

While shouting at the PCs.

“GET INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD- DROP YOUR WEAPONS, MOVE! NOW!”

View attachment 282482
And when men and women on big horses with halberds are herding you- well, you do as your told. This is the last picture for the evening.

Sgt Pflaster takes it in turns to shout at various PCs- to get them to tell their story, from the beginning. Getting each new PC to pick up the tale.

“YOU, WHAT IN SIGMAR’S NAME IS GOING ON HERE- START FROM THE BEGINNING, COME ON- SPEAK. NOW!”

That kind of thing.

And the Mrs had to come in from the room next door to tell me off for shouting so loud, so…

I enjoyed myself.

And the PCs have to tell their story and answer a variety of other questions.

With a few checks thrown in to see if Sgt Pflaster is buying their spiel.

The last question, of course, is-

“HOW, IN SIGMAR’S HOLY NAME, DID IT COME TO PASS THAT ALL OF THE TRAVELLERS IN THE COACH WERE LEFT LYING IN THE ROAD IN THEIR UNDERCRACKERS?”

“The mutants.” Olek states- quickly, and confidently, “they were looting the bodies when we ambushed them.”

And that’s just one example of George in action this evening, Olek is a smart fellow, he always has an answer and quite often that answer is great, because it takes the sting out of things. And it’s an easy lie because it accounts for reality, and no-one is to blame, certainly not the PCs.

Great play Olek/George.

The other PCs rely (mostly, not Fergus) on simpering, and sucking up to the men and women on horses with big pointy weapons.

Then there are more dice rolls, and it’s all okay in the end.

One of the Roadwardens, Baldwin, has already been sent up the road to locate the Ratchet Lines coach, and Lady Isolde.

Meantime, after a bit of blather with Sgt Pflaster, Frederich gets his mutant corpse pyre burning- the Witch Hunter is on cloud nine, his first ever mutant pyre.

The rest of the PCs are tasked to clear up the scene, right the coach, and…

Then, the thunder of hooves and Baldwin is back.

Sgt Pflaster and Baldwin whisper and confer, Fergus tries to get close enough to hear what’s going on, but…

Seconds later and the gun is out and being waved about again, and soon after and the other Roadwarden’s are back on their mounts- and suitably armed and back to being shouty too, and once again the PCs are lined up in the road, their weapons cast aside, etc.

See previous.

Oh, and the sarge is back to shouting.

Although that doesn’t last long, next each PC is made to step forward for close inspection, by Baldwin and Pflaster.

The PCs, all of them, pass this somewhat odd close inspection- the Roadwarden pair spend a good minute staring hard at each PC in turn, particularly looking at their faces.

Although at this point none of the PCs have the first clue as to what is going on here, and when they ask someone shuts them up by digging them in the back with a halberd, or else shouting and pistol waving some more.

I’m having a hoot.

But then it gets serious. Pflaster apologises, a little, for his last tirade- and then explains,

“One of the citizens in the coach on which you were travelling has all the signs of a deadly contagion. A disease we are very familiar with…”

The PCs, of course, are concerned, they have questions, particularly as they have just spent the last Sigmar knows how many hours in the company of the other travellers.

Pflaster further explains that he and his patrol are new to the Altdorf Road, their previous ‘patch’ was on and about the roads near the village of Blutroch.

At which point several of the PCs remember that Philipe Descartes, back at the Coach & Horses Inn, also told them that Blutroch was wiped out by a virulent disease. And the signs of the disease? Bright red blotches on the victim’s face.

Sgt Pflaster, sombrely, states-

“It’s the young girl, Janna- Baldwin here has no doubt, she’s got the Red Pox. Even as we speak Trooper Willirun is taking her into the woods to give her a swift and merciful death. Sigmar have mercy on her soul. We cannot allow the contagion to spread.”

It’s a touching moment.

Well, save for the laughter, as first one, and then two, and then… well, the PCs work it out.

Fergus’ Tiger face paint has still not worn off.

The dwarf tries to explain, but he’s very northern, very plain speaking, and with all the that’s going on, and all that he’s trying to say- well, he doesn’t really make any sense.

“I wuz…”

“I jus’ painted ‘er Tiger.”

“It’s the paint!”

“On ‘er face!”

“She’s not…”

It’s at this point that Frederich saves the day.

“If I may Sgt Pflaster, Janna does not have the Red Pox, she was- last night- subject to a non-consensual face Tigering. By this dwarf.”

Five minutes later, when Frederich has explained further, well… all heck breaks loose, all of the Roadwardens spur their mounts and charge off down the road- back towards the Ratchet Lines coach.

All of them screaming and shouting as they go- “No, Willi- NO! Don’t kill her! NO!” and variants on this theme.

The PCs are suddenly left alone again.

Bewildered.

Olek summarises.

“It seems they have ordered Janna slaughtered because Fergus painted her face like a Tiger last eve.”

Which works for me.

Frederich goes back to his pyre, Fergus shrugs and then mooches about a bit, checking the bodies some more- just in case he missed anything.

Lothar and Olek however remember that they took a short cut through the woods to this point, and if they run…

They run.

This pair therefore arrive at the next scene, which is chaos, far in advance of Frederich and Fergus.

SCENE 6. She’s a Wytch.

Back at the Ratchet Lines coach, well… there’s a lot of shouting, and as it turns out Lady Isolde is even louder then Sgt Pflaster.

Olek and Lothar get to the scene and start making sense of things.

However, it seems Trooper Willirun has already the woods with Janna a while ago, Lady Isolde’s maid may in fact already be dead.

There’s lots of shouting.

But the Drakwald is… dark.

Very dark, and there’s no sign which way the Trooper and Janna went in.

Lady Isolde takes charge, although she is helpfully advised to a course of action by both Olek and Lothar, basically they know which side of the road Willirun and Janna entered the woods, and so all able bodies should move forward into the woods in a line- shouting for Willirun and Janna, while also staying in contact with each other.

It works, but only slightly, at which point- at last, Frederich and Fergus make it to the scene, and the Guide, with a little help from his friends, has a much easier time of it.

He finds a trail. Or else- it’s the same trail as they followed last session to recover the horses, to a clearing- the same clearing.

And there they find the body of…

Trooper Willirun.

But no Janna.

Note, it’s only the PCs that are in this scene, they are (initially) the only ones to find this spot- funny that.

Frederich ascertains that Willirun is just stunned, or else out cold, and using an item from his torturer’s kit inflicts (with a pinch) enough pain to instantly wake the Trooper.

Who is groggy, then flustered, and finally very wary.

Frederich tries to explain the situation- Fergus and his Tiger face-painting.

Somewhere along the way it all goes very wrong- I think, from memory, it started to go bad when Fergus began trying to explain himself, let me illuminate. Fergus said something like this-

“I turned ‘er into a Tiger, a great big cat. I used paint on ‘er face so that she wud become the Tiger. I don’t mean a real Tiger. She’d not changed, not really- just become the Tiger. You get me? She were a Tiger. I painted her a Tiger. But not a real Tiger. Jus’ a painted one.”

Then, as usual, he rolls something beginning with ninety.

Willirun is suddenly screaming, she believes that Fergus has the ability to turn people into Tigers by painting on their faces.

To make clear- Willirun doesn’t really know what a Tiger is, or what it looks like, she knows what a great cat is however…

Anyway, Willirun’s confusion is somewhat understandable because, that was pretty much exactly what Fergus told her.

The PCs scramble to come up with some other explanation of events.

Olek gets to it first.

“It is clear that this Janna is a witch! A practitioner of the Dark Arts!”

And the accompanying dice roll is an astounding success (+6 SL).

Willirun goes with it.

As do the other PCs.

“She was a wytch. She was a wytch.” The Trooper murmurs over and over as she relives the events in the clearing, which she of course imparts to the PCs.

Which culminates in the following line from Trooper Willirun…

“She was a wytch, that’s why she turned into a Great Cat.” Willirun is certain, she even nods several times to confirm this.

But now the PCs are on much less firm ground.

Frederich gets to the line first-

“What do you mean ‘she turned into a Great Cat’?”

Willirun further explains that just as she got Janna to the clearing, and her sword drawn- the young woman suddenly spun around to face her, and “her face, her body, it was shaping and changing… into a Great Cat.” Overcome by the sight of the transformation Willirun continues somewhat sheepishly, she leapt back and… hit her head on a branch of a tree.

The last thing she saw was Janna the Great Cat bounding away into the Drakwald.

Which takes a bit of time to recover from.

For the PCs.

Fergus doesn’t recover from this revelation for a good long while, I think he was still confused initially, believing that Willirun was seeing things, or else addled, or else…

It’s at this point, while Fergus is floundering “I jus’ painted ‘er, I never, I… jus’, I jus’, I mainly jus’ do Tigers”, that Frederich steps close to the dwarf and lets him (and everyone else) know-

“I will be watching you Fergus, I will be watching you for further signs of the taint.”

Which made everyone laugh at the time, well- everyone except Fergus.

It’s at this point, of course, that Sgt Pflaster and the rest of the troop make it to the spot, further explanations ensue.

Another twenty minutes RP and explanation for Lady Isolde.

But soon after, we are on the road again- the coaches and horses are all hooked up, the dead bodies of the coachmen and the other travelers bundled into the second (previously rolled) coach.

To the Seven Spokes Inn.

SCENE 7. Mainly admin.

The Seven Spokes is a lot like the Coach & Horses, except it’s busy here, but we are blasting through this bit, it’s admin- mostly.

The following events occur-

The PCs have to complete their individual statements/interviews with Sgt Pflaster, note I sent each PC a note in Fantasy Grounds with eight questions on that they had to answer, as if in interview.

These may surface sometime later in the narrative.

Then, after a few tense moments in the Haggle- the PCs are still not sure how much to trust the Roadwardens, the adventurers receive their reward, for the slaughter of the six mutants. Another thirty shillings, although the PCs very quickly agree that 10 shillings should go to the Roadwardens, for their aid in this matter.

Then, an hour drinking in the Seven Spokes barroom, this time guest of Sgt Pflaster- three of the PCs learn new rumours about the road ahead.

Then. The Roadwardens head off, they have business it seems at the next inn down the road- this after the PCs let them know all about their encounter with the Bretonnian card cheat- Philipe Descartes, at the Coach & Horses. Sgt Pflaster is keen to meet this fellow.

And now the PCs (I think it was Olek again) are learning how to deal with folk that piss them off- grass them up to the authorities.

Frederich meantime is looking for someone to help him with his torn muscle, and as at turns out there’s a doctor staying at the inn, she’s called Anika Pflaster, and sure enough she is related to the good Sgt, although she’s happy to have missed him. The good Sgt, according to his sister, is a ‘loud-mouthed bore’.

Frederich gets some healing; he will be 23 more days with -10 to any skills that involve the use of his left hand. This after an Oopsie with a torn muscle outcome when he was throwing rocks at the mutants.

Then, more drinking- and eating, and a room for the night. Two more of the PCs manage to learn a new rumour each. They only have four more to find in this section of the adventure.

Note, there’s 1 XP for each new rumour learned, Lothar has earned 5 XP this way, Olek 4, Fergus 2 and Frederich- zilch. That’s not a slight on any PCs, Fergus isn’t a Gossip (his skill is real low) and Frederich keeps rolling rumours that have already been heard- he’s done this at least three times to date. Twice tonight.

I’m not sure who used what with regard to Fortune Points this session.

Lots more laughter in this one.

The final XP table is below.

PCLooting & DocumentsJanna is a Great CatTitleRumoursSession XPTotal
Fred (Jim)54104050
Fergus (Ben)54013545
Olek (George)55024557
Lothar (Kev)53023545

I gave Frederich/Jim 1 XP for the line that became the title of this session and will again for the same in future sessions.

It's a cracking game, and very different from D&D, the players celebrated twenty-four hours (game time) and no deaths in the Old World yet, at the start of this session.

Stay safe and well.

Cheers goonalan et al.
Great account once again.
The looted blunderbuss is still an item of great import in our game, many sessions on from you. The PC, Hilda Von Lustfahrt, the formidable river-warden, has used it with great effect. She’s even named it: Grosse Wilhelm. (Yes, we do still have the odd instance of teenage humour!)
 

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